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Problem configuring mysql on Slackware/Linux

Mark asked
Last Modified: 2014-08-22
I'm trying to set up MySQL for the first time on a new Slackware 14.1 host. Per the init script, I first ran:

mysql_install_db --user=mysql

That appeared to work. The output from that command stated, in part:
To start mysqld at boot time you have to copy
support-files/mysql.server to the right place for your system

To do so, start the server, then issue the following commands:

'/usr/bin/mysqladmin' -u root password 'new-password'
'/usr/bin/mysqladmin' -u root -h mail password 'new-password'

Alternatively you can run:

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I have no idea what lines 1 and 2 are asking me to do (right place for my system?), so I skipped that -- perhaps that's the source of my problem.

I did start the server per line 5 (/etc/rc.d/rc.mysql start); that worked. Then set the root password per line 7; that worked. But when I tried to set the password per line 8 I got the error:
/usr/bin/mysqladmin: connect to server at 'mail' failed
error: 'Can't connect to MySQL server on 'mail' (111)'
Check that mysqld is running on mail and that the port is 3306.
You can check this by doing 'telnet mail 3306'

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Telneting to mail 3306 gives me:
$ telnet mail 3306
telnet: connect to address Connection refused

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`netstat -tlpn` shows no processes named mysqld or mysqld_safe, or such-like and nothing on 3306.

ps axww gives:
29280 pts/0    S      0:00 /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --pid-file=/var/run/mysql/mysql.pid --skip-networking
29384 pts/0    Sl     0:00 /usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --plugin-dir=/usr/lib/mysql/plugin --user=mysql --skip-networking --log-error=/var/lib/mysql/mail.err --pid-file=/var/run/mysql/mysql.pid

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Here's the output in /var/lib/MySQL/mail.err
140818 07:10:37 mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /var/lib/mysql
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: The InnoDB memory heap is disabled
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: Mutexes and rw_locks use GCC atomic builtins
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: Compressed tables use zlib 1.2.6
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: Using Linux native AIO
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: Initializing buffer pool, size = 128.0M
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: Completed initialization of buffer pool
140818  7:10:37 InnoDB: highest supported file format is Barracuda.
140818  7:10:37  InnoDB: Waiting for the background threads to start
140818  7:10:38 Percona XtraDB (http://www.percona.com) 5.5.32-MariaDB-30.2 started; log sequence number 1597945
140818  7:10:38 [Note] Plugin 'FEEDBACK' is disabled.
140818  7:10:38 [Note] Event Scheduler: Loaded 0 events
140818  7:10:38 [Note] /usr/libexec/mysqld: ready for connections.
Version: '5.5.32-MariaDB'  socket: '/var/run/mysql/mysql.sock'  port: 0  MariaDB Server

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I'm stumped. Need help!
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